Make your patriotic parties one to remember with Shooting Star Cookies. Each cookie packs a surprise!
Shooting Star Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla
Use the same ingredients for the plain dough for the blue dough.
Make the dough blue by adding:
1/4 tsp. blue gel food coloring or 1 Tbsp. blue liquid food coloring
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon dried egg whites
1 tablespoon water
Blue gel food coloring (optional)
Red colored sugar
In the large bowl of a stand mixer* combine the butter and sugar. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour and salt; whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla to the butter mixture, then gradually add the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and press into a rough rectangle. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
To make the blue dough, follow the same steps listed for the plain dough except add food coloring to the butter mixture.
In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar and egg whites. Add water, one teaspoon at a time, until mixture resembles a thick, pipable paste. Add a small drop of blue gel food coloring, if using, and stir to combine. Transfer to a small pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Place a damp paper towel into the bottom of a tall glass and place the bag with royal icing with the tip resting in the towel to keep icing from hardening.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Divide each dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle on a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Invert a blue rectangle on top of a plain rectangle and remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Invert remaining plain rectangle on top of the stack, removing plastic wrap. Add remaining blue rectangle, and remove plastic wrap. Cut the dough crosswise into four 8×3-inch strips. Stack one strip on top of the other and press gently to adhere (16 layers). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours.
Using a very sharp knife, trim the short ends of the stack. Cut a 1/4-inch slice from the short end of the stack. Press the slice with your hand until even and the layers hold together. Using a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut a striped star from the slice. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining stack (you should have about 28 striped stars). Gather the scraps and pat together. Reroll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut 3-inch stars. Place all stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of the cookies are very lightly browned. While still warm, cut again with clean 3-inch cutter. Using a small 1 1/2-inch star cutter, cut a small star from the middle of 14 marbled stars. Remove and cool on wire racks.
Place half of the striped cookies top-sides down; pipe a thin ribbon of royal icing around the inside edge of each. Place a marbled cookie with cutout on top of each piped cookie, aligning edges. Let dry about 2 minutes. Spoon red sugar into the cutout in each. Pipe another thin strip of royal icing along the inside edge of each and top with remaining striped cookies, top sides up. Allow to dry completely, about 10 minutes.
Images and recipe from: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/shooting-star-cookies-1/
Place your Shooting Star Cookies on patriotic platters for your guests to enjoy!
If making cookie dough and icing from scratch is not your thing, purchase premade sugar cookie dough and icing at your local grocery store to make your patriotic dessert!